Karl Overman: Birds and More


In Southeast Montana, I took a maginificent dirt road through miles of pristine prairie with rarely a sign of civilization. Well, not entirely pristine.  A western section of the road was covered with yellow blooming mustard as far as you could see on rolling hills.  Most prairie birds seemed to prefer this habitat and that was definitely true of the Chestnut-collared Longspurs that were common in this habitat and distinctly less common further east where it was natural prairie with no mustard plants.  The later habitat was favored by Lark Buntings  The male longspurs like to sit on the gravel road so you were constantly flushing them.  They were quite wary when I tried to photograph them.

Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus)

Modified July 1, 2020